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DEL MAR : Rough Trip Produces Dead Heat


DEL MAR — Midweek stakes races for $50,000 purses are generally nondescript events, but The C.E.R.F. was an exception Wednesday.

Booklore survived a rather harsh mid-stretch bumping incident to catch front-running Dixie Fine in a dead heat for first place in the 6 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies. Both fillies paid $11.60 for the victory.

In addition, Booklore, ridden by Alex Stute and trained by Melvin Stute, had to survive an inquiry on the incident. Golden Klair, the third-place finisher ridden by Gary Stevens, was cut off when she tried to get through between Booklore and Tour, the fading fourth-place finisher, and had to take up. Videotapes showed the tiring Tour veered outward.

Neither of the winners was very highly regarded, though Dixie Fine was unbeaten in four starts at Remington Park in Oklahoma. Dixie Fine was ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye and trained by Henry Moreno. Booklore had one victory in 13 previous starts.


Del Mar's main event Sunday, the $200,000 Chula Vista Stakes for older fillies and mares, will likely include Fowda (Patrick Valenzuela), Furtaw's Friend (Perry Compton), Magical Maiden (Gary Stevens), Party Cited (Laffit Pincay), Re Toss (Eddie Delahoussaye), Senate Appointee (Kent Desormeaux) and Wedding Ring (Alex Solis).

Magical Maiden, third in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff, is coming back from an injury to her left front shoulder. She made her first start since the injury earlier this meet and won the Fantastic Girl Stakes. She is trained by Warren Stute and ridden by Gary Stevens.

The other weekend stakes race will be Saturday's $75,000 Osunitas Handicap, also for older fillies and mares.


Del Mar-based jockeys are going to be all over the landscape this weekend, lured to the Midwest and East by major races and good mounts.

Sunday's Arlington Million gets Kent Desormeaux on Johann Quatz, Corey Nakatani on Leger Cat and Corey Black on Dear Doctor. Black will also ride Earl Of Barking in the Secretariat Stakes Sunday at Arlington.

Chris McCarron will ride Flawlessly in the Beverly D Saturday at Arlington and fly to Saratoga to ride Dehere Sunday in the Hopeful Stakes. Pat Valenzuela, on Let's Elope, will also ride in the Beverly D.


Kotashaan and Bien Bien may be headed for a showdown in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap Sept. 5, depending upon weight assignments to be announced Friday.

They met twice during the spring at Santa Anita, Kotashaan winning by a length in the San Luis Rey at equal weights and by a nose in the San Juan Capistrano with a two-pound disadvantage.

"We'll run in the Del Mar Handicap if the weights are acceptable," said Richard Mandella, Kotashaan's trainer.

Juan (Paco) Gonzalez, Bien Bien's trainer, said essentially the same thing.

Kotashaan, owned by La Presle Farm, is already a winner at this meet. He took the Eddie Read Handicap Aug. 8 in his first start since the San Juan Capistrano.

Bien Bien, winner of the Hollywood Turf Handicap and Sunset Handicap, has not yet raced at Del Mar this summer.


Devoted Brass, who shipped to Saratoga to run in the $1 million Travers Stakes last weekend, returned to Del Mar to prepare for the $300,000 Del Mar Derby Sept. 6.

After taking the lead into the stretch of the Travers, Devoted Brass finished fifth but trailed winner Sea Hero, the Kentucky Derby winner, by only three lengths.

"We didn't win any money," trainer Noble Threewit said, "but it did show that he can compete with those kinds of horses."

Incredibly, the 82-year-old trainer had not been to Saratoga since 1949.


Desormeaux, Del Mar's leading jockey, had a 0-for-19 streak snapped when he won the third race Monday, then went 0 for 4 the remainder of the afternoon.

However, on Wednesday, Desormeaux broke out of his slump with victories in the first aboard Cheyenne Gold ($19), fourth aboard Persistant Pete ($5.60) and fifth aboard Sexy Smile ($4.40). He now has 41 victories for the meeting, 10 ahead of second place Gary Stevens.

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